Archive for October, 2009

Ghost sighting?

October 31st, 2009

Anyone ever seen a ghost? I've felt one- I think one kissed my head when I was in Hana. I had taken a rock off the beach, encountered a spate of bad luck, and took it back. When I was in the hotel (alone in a room) I still felt someone kiss the top of my head, as if to thank me.

Another time, I was videotaping a demo in my dojo, and I felt Sensei come up beside me to peek into the flip-out viewfinder. I turned to talk to him and found he wasn't even in the room. Later, another student who can see ghosts, said he thought he saw a shadow by me.

It never scares me at first because I don't realize what's happening till afterwards. So, I haven't seen ghosts, but (assuming I'm not nuts), maybe felt them?

The old KHNL used to have ghosts in the main building on 150-B Puuhale Road. It was a crematorium during the war. I've heard many stories about several ghosts there from different coworkers. I never had to, nor wanted, to be in Headquarters after dark.

I love ghost stories. Share!!! 🙂

Dan-glish and other random thoughts

October 30th, 2009

Happy (early) Halloween, folks!

Last night, I threw a party at Ichiriki Loft for the morning crew. Things were hard for us all at the end (stressful, etc) and I wanted it to end on a nice note. About 90% of us made it, including half our weekly guests, whom we considered as part of the family. Fun gathering.


Dash, Ericson, Sheree, Mark, Tasha, Jessica, Tai, Di, Mike, Dayton, Nate, Ryan, Attila

I'd never been to Ichiriki Loft but I'm glad I went. It was awesome. Great food. Good prices. Good service. Nice atmosphere. Casual, mellow, sophisticated. Great recommendation by Nate Ho. Thanks, Nate.

Funny story. Man at the bar saw my lei (that the Honolulu Club guys gave me.) "Happy birthday," he remarked, trying to be friendly. "Not my birthday," I smiled. "What's it for, then?"he replied.

"I got laid off, along with all my friends there, " I gestured. Nine of the ten morning show staffers were cut. "We're having an unemployment party."

"Oh. Sorry," he grimaced.

No biggie, dude. I appreciate the intent.  🙂

Ichiriki Loft
(upstairs from Ichiriki)

510 Piikoi Street, Ste 202
Honolulu, HI 96814
(808) 591-5638

There’s an attended lot behind the building that houses the restaurant and loft. The lot is accessible from Kona Street. Parking is free for the first 2 hours.

All KHNL News department

All KHNL News department (Morning crew is this middle "insert" under Joy- front, center)

... 17. That's what I'm gonna call Hawaii News Now. Combination of 8 and 9.

Newspeople in this market shorthand the name for each station as just the channel number. KHON2 becomes simply "2," for instance. Even if it shows up as 3 on most peoples' cable channel, we just refer to the official station name. So: "Who was at the presser?" "2, 4, and 8. I didn't see anyone from 9."

We kept saying, "I was watching 8 last night. Or 9. Or whatever." Until finally the suggestion came that we call it 17. Like it.

Gotta clarify in these transitional (read: sensitive) times that it was meant humorously, not with mean intentions.

... Claus and the nanny speak Danish to Olivia. Dang-lish, I guess, it can be called? They speak Danish to her. She usually responds in English, but now and then, with some Danish words. This morning, I awoke to Olivia running away from Claus wielding a hair brush. She was yelling, "I do not want to brush my hor!"

Say it out loud. Yep, sounds just like it looks to American eyes.

New Honary Consul of Denmark

October 28th, 2009

My husband in May joined the diplomatic ranks as the newest Honorary Consul. Here's the press release:


The Queen of Denmark approved Claus Z. Hansen, CEO and co-owner of Affordable Casket & Moanalua Mortuary, as Royal Danish Consulate, representing Hawaii. “I’m excited to be selected for this honor. Though I have made Hawaii my home, I keep close ties to my homeland, and visit my relatives every other year,” he says. “Helping my fellow Danes have a positive experience in Hawaii is important to me.”

The Royal Danish Consulate in Hawaii is now located at

1150 Kikowaena St.
Honolulu, HI 96819

Office hours are 8 am – 4 pm.

What is an Honorary Consul? It’s not a career diplomat. It’s a private citizen who helps represent the citizens of a certain country, as a volunteer role. Honorary Consuls are afforded a military rank, after Rear Admirals/Major Generals/Air Vice Marshalls.

An Honorary Consul may be called out (at any time, day or night) to attend to the well-being of a citizen of the appointing country who has been arrested. They ensure that the arrested person is being treated fairly, and that he or she understands their rights and obligations. “According to my predecessor, most of the cases involving Danes were lost passports or wayward hikers,” anticipates Hansen.

Hansen was born and raised in Denmark, and moved to Hawaii in 1986 to attend the University of Hawaii on a swimming scholarship. He chose to make Hawaii his home, and teaches his daughter Danish in the hopes that she will one day appreciate her Danish heritage. He has been an active member of Hawaii’s Scandinavian community for more than 20 years.

No, the job doesn’t come with diplomatic immunity, but he does get a cool license plate, a really large coat of arms for the wall, and now and then, a dinner with the Danish Queen.

Claus Z. Hansen
(808) 542-2021 cell

What I look forward to next

October 26th, 2009

I got up after the sun was up today. I walked around the neighborhood while it was still cool, with my daughter. I felt fantastic! Here's what else I am excited about in the next chapter of my life:

1) Being the mom who runs and jumps and splashes and chases her kid, not the mom too tired to go anywhere or do anything too energetic. I gave the best of me to work. Now I can give it to her!


2) Seeing my husband for more than one hour a day. Actually staying up and watching television with him or talking to him after Olivia goes to sleep.

3) Looking into a PhD in political science. Higher education is fun!

4) Taking cake decorating classes at Cake Creations in Manoa. My mom is a great baker. I like to cook, but I am motivated to learn to bake so I can decorate cakes for Olivia!


5) Returning to jujitsu. My dojo only offers night classes. I missed six months of training.

6) Travel. We postponed a trip to Denmark to see Claus' ailing uncle, because I did not want the double whammy of traveling with a two year old on a 23 hour journey, and because I was deathly afraid to throw off my body clock.

Claus and Uncle Paul

Claus and Uncle Paul

7) Taking sewing classes? I like to sew.

8) Kiln-glass making at Hawaii Kiln Glass.

I made this for holiday gifts.

I made this for holiday gifts.

9) Walking the dog.

IncaKHNL 008

10) Kayaking

11) Surfing???

12) Living, loving, laughing, and staying in the light! 🙂 Life is beautiful. Let's enjoy it!


I read a wonderful article about reinventing onesself. Novelist and radio host Kurt Andersen recalled his own firing from New York magazine 13 years ago as something freeing. "Getting fired was traumatic. Finding my way since has been thrilling and immensely gratifying," he wrote in Time magazine.

He also quotes a Japanese Zen master, Shunryu Suzuki, who said that "in the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's mind there are few."

I'm an expert in my craft. I write a story in ten minutes. I can execute a flawless live shot with 30 second's notice. I'm proud of that... and I'm tired of that. I wouldn't have been had I not been laid off, but think I subconsciously disconnected, such that I've turned the corner to embrace a new life outside of news.

I found it harder and harder to wake up in the morning. That was the biggest clue. I was counting down the days till the final show, and I was excited. It was an impatience that grew, and reminded me of being a child and waiting for Christmas to come.

I didn't mean to disconnect. It wasn't a matter of anything negative. I was not bitter and I wanted to do a great job till the end. I consciously was happy and energetic at work through my last day. However, how could I not start mentally winding down? It's only human nature.

People keep asking what's next. I know they mean a career. They are not satisfied to hear, "Be a mom." Is it that obvious I like to work? 🙂

I have always freelanced a LOT in all kinds of capacities - pretty much anything within the scope of my skill set, which is writing, reading, reading out loud, being on camera, and public relations stuff. People find me, somehow. I have regular work from a mish-mash of clients. I'll keep that up.

For fun, I want to really think about a PhD. I don't necessarily want to use it. I just think it would be an interesting journey to earn it.

I mentioned in a previous blog that I don't know about a second career. But here's the more thoughtful answer: Most journalists go into one of three industries: public relations, law, or politics. Law sounds like the most feasible, most realistic option. Would I want to endure more school? Gosh.

And again, these are just random thoughts I've got percolating in my head right now. Things might be different when I'm actually ready to do something. I think that will be a year or two away. Maybe there are more possibilities out there that I haven't considered. I'm just open to whatever life brings me.

...I'm hitting the personal reset button now!

"Hawaii New Snow" and other ramblings

October 25th, 2009

Erika Engle's Sunday column talks about the merger and the possible new name for the 3 stations as

I say this with the most respect- just a humorous observation. The first and second time I looked at it, I thought it said "Hawaii New" Like it's a snowfall monitoring service from atop Mauna Kea, for astronomers and snowboarders.


photo by, makeup by Cheryl Presbiteres

...In other news, I reactivated my Facebook account. I'm Diane Ako there. I opened it back in April to help manage the News8Today fan site, but realized I just wasn't that into it. Now that I'm unemployed, but doing freelance work, I need a way for people to reach me for new jobs.

I was trying hard to push this blog site as the way to contact me, but people get confused about how to find it. When my tech savvy friend Christine couldn't figure it out easily, that was the moment I knew I had to give in and do Facebook.

...Celebrated my new life with an extra cup of joe this morning. Love coffee. Now don't have to worry about not sleeping at night! (Am very sensitive to caffiene.)

...Friday night's KHNL station party was fun. I had committed to attend my husband's Consular Corps function (he's the honorary consul of Denmark) at KCC. We went to the station farewell after, and it was nice to see "alumni" of KHNL there as well. Wish I could have stayed through the end, but I was exhausted. Any day that I woke up at 3 am, I go to sleep at 7 pm.

...The oft-asked question is, "Where was Dash on Friday?" Dash had some days he learned of at the last minute. He had to use or lose. I can't blame him. He was off Tu, Th, Fri.

Tracy shafted us by not wanting to work. She said it was too far to walk from the weather wall to the temporary set.

From: Gladden, Tracy
Sent: Tuesday, October 20, 2009 3:01 AM
To: Ako, Diane; Courtney
Due to the condition of the set I will not be able to do interviews this week. Thanks.

She was clearly insolent, having mentally checked out any obligation to her coworkers. And with no ties or intention of returning to Hawaii, she didn't care what bridges she burned.

Tracy Gladden, weathercaster

Tracy Gladden, weathercaster

During the commerical, I would answer the phones, let in the guests outside, escort them to the set, and mic them. Then run back to the desk. She was sitting right there and stubbornly refused to help. It was ridiculous. She was on Facebook or on social calls to her friends in Chicago.

Our boss heard, and scolded her. In revenge, she simply called in sick for the last 2 days. I wish she'd been edited out of the goodbye video. That girl is so pilau, she deleted the News8 Today fan page off Facebook. She was the main administrator and we were surprised to go there to find it gone- all the photos, everything. Gone.
Disappointing, since for most of the months, I got along with her. She wasn't well liked at the station, but she didn't give me a problem - until the last week. Just too bad to go out that way.


I'd have had to read a 2 hour show (the weather part would just be me reading over weather graphics prepared the night before by Sharie) alone, but Paul offered to come in. I didn't have to ask. He volunteered. He is a real friend.


...I don't know how to explain in just a few words about the pain of a layoff. It's truly different once you've been through one. It's way too simplistic to say I'm sad because I'm not on TV anymore. I'm not concerned about that. It has nothing to do with finding a new opportunity or feeling lost without a career.

It was just so much sorrow I feel I absorbed from everyone in the building who felt angry, disappointed, let down. I believe that no matter how much I tried, I couldn't help but take in some of the energy. So much betrayal and abandonment by co-workers, and disrespect and neglect by non-peers. A fatigue that increased gradually because I was working myself overtime to get projects done, before I left the business. The physical tiredness played into it. Sadness for friends who have no jobs yet. Fighting with Tracy Gladden. The mourning of the end of a work family. It's all THAT.

I'll be better in short order. A lot of it revolves around sleep and the body, and when I start taking care of myself it'll resolve.

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